SAN DIEGO, California - At one point or another we've all been beginners to the sport of stand up paddling. As one of the world's fastest growing sports, paddle boarding is seeing more and more newcomers to the sport and every newcomer could use a few lessons and tips in the art of paddle boarding. We've talked to top pros in the sport and asked them to breakdown their top tips for beginners. Here's what they had to say:
(2015 Payette River Games Champion, Focus SUP Athlete, Top Ranked SUP Racer & Surfer)
1. Get the right, stable board, that works for you
2. Practice in flatwater
3. Have fun!
"Get the right, stable board, that works for you."
(Top Ranked Racer, Boardworks Athlete, 6x podium finisher at BOP)
1. Go to standup friendly location, do not go straight to the waves/lines
2. Have an instructor that is certified on SUP teaching
3. Have a big board. The bigger the board, the more stable you will be and you will have a more enjoyable time.
(SIC Maui Athlete, 2014 Stand Up World Series World Champion, 2014 Overall BOP Champion)
1. Find calm water, flat water (harbor, beach, bay)
2. Take a lesson
3. Use proper equipment (wide enough board, enough volume, a paddle with the right length)
(2014 M2O Champion, Starboard Athlete, 2014 Stand Up World Series World Champion)
1. Equipment: make sure you have the right equipment for you.
2. Paddle length: make sure your paddle is the correct length for your height. A helpful tip is usually a 'shaka' length above head.
3. Balance: keep your knees bent and your body straight up.
(River SUP Pioneer, Starboard Athlete, Payette River Games Race Director)
1. Getting sized with the right equipment
2. Invest in paddles and education about the sport, then invest in a board.
"Invest in paddles and education about the sport..."
(6x BOP Champion, Bark Boards Athlete, Co-Founder of Performance Paddling)
1. Know before you go. Make sure you know the location, assess the bottom, the weather, tides currents, ask a life guard, etc. and make sure you know all safety requirements.
(SUP Pioneer, Big Wave Charger, Naish athlete)
1. Try before you buy it. Do not only look it up online, making sure it’s stable and the right fit
"Try before you buy."
(2014 Stand Up World Tour Champion, 2013/2014 BOP Champion, Naish SUP Athlete)
1. Start with baby steps. Do not jump into big waves or push on long races.
2. Work closely with an experienced paddler, which helps to prevent injury, go fast and longer
3. Do not go into too small of a board, go out on a board that floats you (I have biggest board on tour now).
(3x Carolina CUP Champion, 2x BOP Champion, Lahui Kai & SUP Think Tank Athlete)
1. Get a lesson first and keep getting lessons.
2. Don’t necessarily read or believe everything you see online. Make sure that the info you are getting comes from someone with credibility.
"Get a lesson first and keep getting lessons."
Taking the advice from these pros is definitely a great idea and is sure to get you on an accelerated track to becoming a pro yourself, or at the very least, being comfortable on the water with your gear.
Were these tips helpful? Tell us what you thought in the comments below!
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